SG refuses to sign tuition hike, stands firm at 5%

 

After opposing the initial 10 percent tuition and fees hike proposed by the administration, the De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) Student Government (SG) has arrived at a compromise, lowering the hike down to five percent due to the inflationary rate which the admin has regarded as non-negotiable in the latest tuition and fees consultation, Jan 31.

The initial proposal of a 10 percent hike consisted of a five percent inflationary increase and a five percent compensatory increase for specific degree programs and was presented to the student leaders for their approval in a previous meeting.

According to SG Executive President Christine Joyce Perez, they declined to sign the proposal with regard to the additional compensatory increase for AB Communication, BS Biology, BS Psychology, BS Education, BS Hotel and Restaurant Management, BS Tourism, BS Nursing, AB Multimedia Arts, and BS Information Technology.

Perez shared that the administrators justified the compensatory increase as a way to offset the losses of the nine programs since their expenses exceeded the fees collected from the students, as confirmed by their respective deans.

SG responded by arguing that covering the losses of the programs must not be compensated through increasing students’ tuition fees.

“Sabi kasi nila sa amin ngayong year lang nag-negative. For compensating the losses kasi, kaya ganun kalaki ang tuition fee increase,” said the SG president.

These losses were incurred for expenses such as the salaries and wages of the faculty, administrators’ allowances, departmental activities, student aid, institutional donations and the support to the brothers’ community among others.

SG officers review their arguments right before the tuition and fees consultation. (V. Dimaculangan)

“Ang una muna naming binigyang pansin ay ‘yung compensatory increase dahil ‘yun ang kaya naming habulin,” said Perez.

Perez said that during the meeting, the admin came up with two alternative offers which the SG also rejected: a six percent increase for all programs to revoke the additional compensatory increase for the nine identified programs; or a a five percent increase in all programs plus a two percent compensatory increase for the nine programs.

“Dati kasi across all [programs] ‘yun [tuition and fees increase]. Ngayon kasi […] ang gusto mangyari ni Brother ay ‘yung mga program na hindi nagpe-perform nang ayos, doon magkakaron ng compensatory increase,” said Kent Laygo, SG executive auditor.

Perez explains that the outcome of the meeting with the administrators about the tuition hike held last Jan. 31 at the Sen. Jose Diokno building is yet to be finalized after everything has been presented to the Brother President. (V. Dimaculangan)

Perez stated that the basis of the remaining five percent increase was claimed to be ‘justifiable’ by the administrators as per breakdown of expenses and the 5.1 percent  inflationary rate allowed by the Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order Number 3, series of 2012 or the Enhanced Policies, Guidelines and Procedures Governing Increases in Tuition and Other School Fees, Introduction of New Fees, and for Other Purposes.

Lasallians shared their thoughts about the tuition fee hike on the freedom wall placed at the Student Center ground floor. (A. Mojares)

Student backlash

SG also installed a freedom wall at the Student Center entrance for Lasallians to express their thoughts about the tuition hike. Many of the responses were strongly-worded and directed at the administration.

One anonymous statement said, “May pagpalit pa kayo ng mission-vision tapos di naman inclusive community. Students should not shoulder […] expenses [or] loss by the school.”

Professional organizations in DLSL including Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines, Psychology Society, Biology Society, Interactive Artists of Multimedia Design, Association of Communication Students, Association of Computer Engineering Students, Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants, and Lasallian Jurists of DLSL also released their statements through online posts supporting the SG opposition to the initial proposal on the increase of tuition and fees.

However, Perez clarified that all the changes that were raised in the said meeting are not final until the administrators have presented the student leaders’ concerns to Br. Dante Amisola FSC, DLSL president and chancellor.

As of press time, no further announcements had been made by the admin regarding the finalization of the tuition and fees increase.

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